Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017

21.

Sexual act with protected person

21. (1) A person who engages in a sexual act with a protected person knowing that that person is a protected person or being reckless as to whether that person is a protected person shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person who invites, induces, counsels or incites a protected person to engage in a sexual act knowing that that person is a protected person or being reckless as to whether that person is a protected person shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) In proceedings for an offence under this section, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that the defendant knew or was reckless as to whether the person against whom the offence is alleged to have been committed was a protected person.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) where the sexual act consisted of sexual intercourse, buggery or an act described in section 3(1) or 4(1) of the Act of 1990 shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life or a lesser term of imprisonment.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) where the sexual act consisted of an act which if done without consent would constitute a sexual assault shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(6) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (2) shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

(7) For the purposes of this section, a person lacks the capacity to consent to a sexual act if he or she is, by reason of a mental or intellectual disability or a mental illness, incapable of—

(a) understanding the nature, or the reasonably foreseeable consequences, of that act,

(b) evaluating relevant information for the purposes of deciding whether or not to engage in that act, or

(c) communicating his or her consent to that act by speech, sign language or otherwise,

and, in this section, such a person is referred to as a “protected person”.